Burr gets 12-year term in Linthicum shooting Robber's mother spoke on his behalf NORTH COUNTY -- Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

November 18, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

The man who shot and wounded a Linthicum gas station attendant was sentenced to 12 years in prison yesterday after an emotional hearing in which his mother said she was too busy with drugs and prostitution to care for him as a child.

Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. agreed to refer Joseph L. Burr, 18, of Baltimore, to the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, where therapists will determine whether he is amenable to treatment.

Burr pleaded guilty last month to the April 6 shooting at Frank's Exxon, just outside the Beltway in the 700 block of Nursery Road.

Burr and two others drove into the station at 1 a.m. to rob it. Burr took $70 from the attendant, Charles Fox, then shot him with a .410-gauge shotgun, court records show.

Assistant State's Attorney John Robinson said Burr was egged on by the two accomplices in the car, who shouted, "Shoot him," after Mr. Fox handed over all the money he had.

Mr. Fox, who was at the sentencing yesterday, spent six days at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center recovering from a shotgun blast to the lower back.

Mr. Robinson said that had the case gone to trial, a physician was prepared to testify that the shot would have been fatal if Mr. Fox hadn't turned away at the last moment.

"What [Burr] did has to be one of the most cold-blooded acts to come before this court in a long, long time," Mr. Robinson said.

Burr's mother, Brenda Burr, told Judge Thieme in the hour-long hearing that her son was a neglected child.

She said she was too busy "out running around" to get money for drugs to care for her son. Burr's father also offered no support, she said.

Mrs. Burr, who has served time for solicitation, said that she now regrets being a bad mother.

"I never had time for him. He basically had to grow up by himself," she said in a voice choked with emotion.

She added that Burr's father refused to come to the sentencing when she asked him to attend yesterday.

Mr. Fox's mother, Alice Foy, who was also at the sentencing, said that she raised four children as a single parent.

"I was a single mother, and all my kids came out all right," she said.

Both women said they were satisfied with the sentence.

"He just about killed my son. I think it's a fair sentence, as long as he serves the whole 12 years," Mrs. Foy said.

Her son agreed, noting that he hasn't been able to find a steady job since the shooting and nows works part time at a Wendy's restaurant.

The station owner told Mr. Fox that he has cut back on staff because he no longer remains open past 10 p.m.

Mr. Fox said he's been told that he may eventually be rehired, but he's not optimistic.

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